Tales of the Black Freighter (2009) - full transcript

A mariner survives an attack from the dreaded pirates of the Black Freighter, but his struggle to return home to warn it has a horrific cost.




Ridley, have you seen
any other survivors?.

No, sir.

Captain, my foot is caught
in some of the wreckage.

-It's pulling me under.
-Hold on.


Ridley. Ridley.



More blood, more blood, more blood.

Delirious from nearly drowning, I saw it.

The Black Freighter.

The hell-bound ship 's black
sails against the yellow Indies sky.

I knew again the stench of powder
and men 's brains and war.

More blood, more blood, more blood.

More blood, more blood, more blood.

The waves about me were scarlet...

...foaming, horribly warm
in the Freighter's wake.

In despair, I offered my weathered soul
to almighty God...

...his mercy and his judgment.



When I awoke,
I found myself upon a dismal beachhead...

...with my men.

Pieces of my men.

It was all I could do for her...

...though she had borne me
through seas of blood.

Her damp embrace had prevented me
from drifting beyond reach.

Yet this small comfort
was all I could offer.

One of my crew lay ahead.

Birds were eating
his thoughts and memories.

Away. Hya!

Hya! Get away.


In hell, at least the gulls are contented.

For my part,
I begged that they should take my eyes.

Thus sparing me future horrors.

I thought of my family...

...my wife, my daughters.

Vulnerable, unsuspecting.

A waiting my return,
only to be met by damnation...

...bearing down upon them.


Over here!



A sail.

Ridley had brought me a sail.

Perhaps this could be my route
back to Davidstown.

Everything I loved, everything I lived for,
depended on my reaching home...

...in advance of that terrible Freighter.

The morning sun found me
no less troubled.

Further down the shore...

...some of my crew
had become inflated with gas.


I shuddered at my own idea,
attempting to banish this repulsive notion.

Even in death,
they sought to fulfill their duty...

...making our vessel more buoyant.

And I would do my duty to them
in returning them home.

Rudely jarring my men from eternal rest,
and laying them in the bed I prepared...

...I hoped my wife and daughters
might be tucked in by gentler hands...

... when their turn came.


We shall get home together, my friend.

I waited for the tide.

Then, embarking, headed east.

East, across the night seas.

East, borne on the bodies
of murdered men.

Hope can be a horrible thing.



With the dawn came the gulls
looking for breakfast.



Get out.


I was reminded
that I, myself, had not eaten.

I know it is unappetizing,
but it is all we have.


Whoever we are, wherever we reside,
we exist on the whim of murderers.

I hardly recognized my old friend Ridley.

I could not bring myself to tell him
he was a horrible reflection...

...of his former self.

I really must get him home before....
Before he gets any worse.

Before he succumbs.

I've heard that on less than a pint daily,
a man might survive drinking saltwater.


What are you doing, captain?.

I'm headed for Davidstown. That's what.

I need to warn everyone.


You think you'll reach Davidstown
in advance of the Black Freighter?

Isolation has made you mad, captain.
Mad, indeed.

But we must try.

You are a fool.

You alone survived the Freighter's attack.

Fortune has smiled upon you,
and you spit in its face.

Turn your wretched craft around
and go far away, as far away as you can.

No. No, my family. I must protect them.

The Black Freighter is already there.

Your wife, dead.

-Your children, dead.
-Shut your mouth.

You have failed your family,
like you have failed your crew.



You'll end up dead like them.
You give your life in vain.

I give my life in nobility.


Even if I fail in my attempt,
I take solace in the fact that I will see...

...my family again in heaven.


Oh, there is no heaven, captain.

Believe me, sir.

I would know by now.



Know this, my friends.

Hades is wet.

Hades is lonely.



And in that instant, we knew each other.



I'm sorry, my friend.


My raft had grown
increasingly grotesque...

...reflecting my own transformation.



Adrift, my darkest imaginings
welled up unchecked...

...spilling from brain to heart
like black ink...

...impossible to remove.

The vessel had surely reached
Davidstown already.

I pictured quiet streets overrun
by the fiends from the Black Freighter.

My wife, my children,
most certainly dead.

My crew, dead.

The beast I ride on, dead.

More blood, more blood, more blood.


It can't be. Oh, Lord, it can't be.

Father, help us. Please.


I'm coming.

Hurry, my dear.

Wait. Anyone but them.



I'd swallowed too much seawater.

I'd swallowed too much horror.

God has damned me.

God has damned us all.

Truly, life is hell and death 's rough hand
our only deliverance.

I can endure no more.

I want to join my family desperately.


Why does death pass me by?.



I was only miles away.

By now the town was overrun.

The fiends imagined themselves safe
from me.

But now I was home.

And revenge would be mine.


No, not the brigands
from the Black Freighter.

The man I recognized,
a moneylender from Davidstown.

with Davidstown certainly captured...

...why would this scoundrel
and his wench be allowed free passage...

...for this midnight tryst?

Had he collaborated?

Had he betrayed my people?

-My family?
WOMAN: Come and get it, babe.




My heart grew cold.

Was my wife comforted
before her execution...

...while this collaborator
and his pirate masters sneered?

My decision was hurried,
but not difficult.

Who are you?. What?.


CAPTAlN: His head burst,
as if pressurized by the guilt within.



A buccaneer's whore deserves no pity.

Two figures had ridden here.

Two must ride back.

A pirate sentry.

I trotted unhurriedly to avoid suspicion.

Their violation did not stop
with the good people of Davidstown...

...but had cut deeply,
infecting my beloved homeland.

My Davidstown was not as I last saw it.

Already it was afflicted
with the curse of the Black Freighter.

Soon, I would venture amongst evil men,
butchers who now reside in my home...

...and make them fear me.

Upon my return home,
I found the streets conspicuously silent.

I entered my former residence

Careful not to rouse the pirate butchers
occupying it from their debauched slumber.

Unaware that death was amongst them...

...they would know its dark embrace
without ever understanding why.


One, however, was awake. Frantic.

Lest he should raise alarms...

...I set upon him as he entered
the night-wrapped chamber.

No pirates come, but something worse.



CAPTAlN: I look up into faces familiar,
save for their terror.

Through puffed and bloodied lips,
she mouthed my name.

My love, why?.

There came an understanding so large...

...it left no room for sanity.

So I ran.

What' s happened to her?.


CAPT AlN: The knowledge
of my damnation paced me...

...shouting, celebrating its awful victory.

My deduction was flawless.

The Black Freighter
was heading to Davidstown.

-It should have arrived.
MAN: He went that way!


CAPTAlN: Eventually,
I came to a dismal black ocean...

...stretching endlessly before me.

How had I reached
this appalling position with love...

...only love, as my guide?

The moneylender floated at my feet.

Noble intentions had led me to atrocity.

The righteous anger fueling my ingenious,
awful scheme was but delusion.

where was my error?

Planning to resume my flight,
I raised my head and saw her.

The vessel seemed to be waiting,
not hovering to strike.

And gradually, I understood
what innocent intent brought me to...

...and waded out beyond my depth.

The unspeakable truth
loomed unavoidably before me...

...as I swam
towards the anchored Freighter.

Its dark and lurching mast
filled all my vision.

All my well-meaning plans
had come to this.

The world I tried to save
was lost beyond recall.

A rope snaked down.

Sputtering, I grabbed it.


And from the decks above,
a cheer went up...

...both gross and black,
its stench affronting heaven.

There had been no plan
to capture Davidstown.

They'd come to wait until they could collect
the only prize they valued.

Claim the only soul they truly wanted.


I was a horror.

Amongst horrors must I dwell.